GCI TERRA is a three-phase telecommunications project to build a hybrid terrestrial fiber-optic and microwave network to give rural Western and Arctic Alaskans in 72 communities more reliable phone and internet. TERRA service in Kotzebue in Northwest Alaska is the first north of the Arctic circle and required seven logistics companies, six engineers, five airlines, two subs, a general contractor, a heavy-lift helicopter company, and more. With no roads in and out of most communities, barges, planes, and helicopters outnumber conventional construction vehicles. The biggest danger, aside from heavy machinery, hazardous materials, and working “off the grid,” was the Alaskan weather — from heat stroke to frostbite to rain. GCI TERRA will strengthen bandwidth and increase reliability and opportunities for education, healthcare, and public safety.
What makes it interesting?
TERRA is comprised of Southwest, Northwest, and Yukon phases. TERRA Northwest alone will span 450 miles with 14 communication towers, 22 modules, and 22 fuel tanks to connect Nome, Unalakleet, and Kotzebue to the 40-tower Southwest network. Kotzebue is the first public terrestrial network north of the Arctic Circle. Alaska’s unpredictable weather causes the most safety hazards of this gigantic project.
How HCSS Software assisted with this project
STG saved time and effort by developing activities and customizing crews in HeavyBid and duplicating them in different phases of work. They can copy previous phases and labor rates and update quantities. STG estimator Shane Oyster: “Switching to HeavyBid made estimating a large, multi-phase project at least 50 percent faster.” Ultimately, HeavyBid made STG more scalable, more competitive, and more profitable.